Today we remember, Martin Luther King Jr. for his leadership in advancing civil rights through nonviolent resistance, for which he won the Nobel Peace Prize on
October 14, 1964. In addition to speaking to our children about his importance in our country’s history and continued efforts of our country to strive for equality; I think it’s a wonderful day to reflect on how we are influencing good character in our own children.
“Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.” Martin Luther King Jr. wrote this in an article, “The Purpose of Education,” for the Morehouse College’s student newspaper in 1947.
I believe this quote is a great reminder, as we teach our children, that while book smarts are important, it is not everything. A well-rounded adult with good character is the ultimate goal.
Good character is developed in part by a child watching his/her parents, guardians. Therefore, as parents we need to lead by example. We can model good character, use good manners, and show respect toward all others. Sometimes it’s not the words that are spoken but the act of watching others that makes the biggest impression.
Reading to your children is so wonderful for their language development. We should read to and with our children all throughout the school years. Reading good quality literature allows us and alongside our children to step into the shoes of others. These books can be excellent conversation starters into deep subjects that otherwise we may not have known how to bring up. There is so much to be learned and experienced through reading historical fiction together.
A family service project is a great way to work together in expressing concern and compassion toward others. Create projects that work to help people in your community. You can include children of all ages whether it be helping you bake or packing care bags.
A few service project ideas:
* Taking a meal to a sick friend
* Taking a meal to a new mom
* Mowing an elderly neighbor’s lawn
* Shoveling a neighbor’s driveway
* Making cards for people in nursing homes
* Collecting items for a clothing drive
* Make care bags for homeless
There are numerous possibilities. Come up with some ideas as a family and service others from the goodness of your hearts. For Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?” This world could use more acts of love.
Find beauty in the everyday.